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Solbakken replaces Lagerback as Norway coach

Oslo (AFP) – Former Wolverhampton Wanderers and Copenhagen coach Stale Solbakken has been handed the reins of the Norwegian national team, the national federation announced on Thursday.

The 52-year-old, who was sacked by Copenhagen in October, replaces the Swede Lars Lagerback, who has stepped down, even though his contract took him through to the 2022 World Cup.

“As we transition between two qualifications, we want to make a plan over the next four years, first up to and including the 2024 European Championships,” said federation president Terje Svendsen. 

“With such an outlook, it was natural to start conversations with Stale Solbakken.

“Stale knows Norwegian football very well. He has solid coaching experience, and he has delivered strong performances internationally for many years.”

Norway have risen over 40 places in the FIFA rankings under Lagerback but missed out on next year’s Euros when they lost to Serbia in the play-offs in October. Their last major competition was the European Championships in 2000.   

In a separate statement, Lagerback, 72, said it was the Norwegian federation that made use of an interim clause to end his contract, which could have run until the 2022 World Cup.

Solbakken, who won 58 caps as a player for Norway, will officially start on December 7.

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